Sorry folks, I’ve been very busy again this week and what with the constant news posts of late I’m getting terribly behind. My apologies to people waiting for stories to go up but I really am having trouble fitting things in at the moment. Hopefully the rush will ease off soon.
In the last week, the above remarkable image came to light via David Evans’ old school friend Trevor Shakespeare, who still lives in the Wood and attended David’s recent talk at Walsall Wood library.Following this, Trevor offered to look for some old photos.
Trevor wrote to David:
Hi there David. We came to your talk on Walsall Wood earlier in the year and I promised to look through the old photos that I have. Although I was born and brought up in Brookland Road, both my parents families came from Norton Canes.
Almost every photo seems to be typical family snapshots, rather than views of the Walsall Wood area.
The only one which may be of interest is attached. It shows a diesel locomotive on a train assumed to be revesing towards Walsall Wood colliery (as the wagons are empty). Towards the end of the life of the branch it was operated as a long siding. This photo has been seen as part of a discussion as to if diesels ever operated on the branch. The loco number is possibly D5232.
When originally shown someone did figure it out as apparently these locos have different grill patterns on the sides. From my trainspotting books of the era,I don’t think that this machine was service until very late 1963, so the photo could be Spring 1964.
The background to the photo shows the old pumping shed next to the railway, and the Co-op building still appears to be in use. From the angle of the shadow I think I took the photo early afternoon time and Spring time as there does not appear to be leaves on the trees.
Hope this is of use, but if you want any further info, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Trevor Shakespeare (now just about at the edge of The Cape)
If you’re having trouble placing the image, I think the photographer is stood in Brook Lane, on the land opposite where the old Scout Hut used to be.
David shared this image with Godfrey ‘Oakparkrunner’ Hucker, who asked Ian Pell’s opinion. Ian replied:
Thanks for the email. I believe I have a copy of the photo is question (copy attached) and it does indeed show D5232 reversing towards the colliery with empty coal wagons.
D5232 for the record was first allocated to Toton in November 1963 before moving to Saltley (2E) in April 1964. I would therefore suggest that the photo was taken Spring/early summer 1964 . Interestingly the headcode of 4M79 was that of an ex-ER to Washwood Heath Sidings working.
The locomotive was indeed part of a second batch and was noticeable by the grill pattern as correctly pointed out.
Local trip freight Target T64 was the only regular working on the line at this time and was booked for a class “25”. By July 1964 it was scheduled to arrive at Walsall Wood Colliery at 13.30 and depart at 14.40 for its next siop on the branch at Aldridge Brixancole.
So yet again, a remarkable image comes to light, and Ian Pell uses his great expertise to explain it fully. A wonderful addition to the local history record.
Thanks to everyone involved – David, Godfrey, Ian and especially to Trevor for taking time to share an image of Walsall Wood from quite a rare time and angle!